Today in the Library, we have Karen King who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author. I’d also like to congratulate Karen, as it is publication day for her latest novel, The Spanish Wedding Disaster.
You are very welcome, Karen, please introduce yourself:
Hello, everyone. Delighted to be here. I am a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. I’m delighted to say that my thrillers, The Perfect Stepmother and The Stranger in my Bed and my romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became Amazon International bestsellers. I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. I now live in Spain where I love to spend my non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with my husband, Dave, when I’m not sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is. 😊
Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?
Although I’ve written in a variety of genres, I’m now concentrating on writing thrillers and romance novels. Whilst these seem two completely opposite genres I find that they go together well, as they both explore the complexity of relationships. My tag line is that I write about ‘the light and dark of relationships’. Romance is where love finally goes right whilst in the psychological thrillers love goes drastically wrong. I love exploring both ends of the spectrum.
Are you an avid reader? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
Oh yes, my kindle is groaning! I’m a bit of an eclectic reader and will read most things apart from gory crime or erotica. I love reading romance and thrillers, the genre I write for, but I also enjoy fantasy, mystery and historical novels. I like to read autobiographies too, and biographies of historical figures. I find it fascinating to read about people’s lives and the things they’ve overcome.
Are you a self-published/traditional or hybrid author?
I’m traditionally published. My current publishers are Bookouture and Headline Accent.
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
I think being a working class girl has influenced my writing, I don’t tend to write about the jet set! Also the places I have lived have certainly influenced the setting of my novels. My thrillers are often set in the Midlands, whilst my romances are mainly set in the more glamourous locations of Cornwall and Spain.
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
Getting the first draft down. I’m never satisfied with what I write and if I wasn’t strict with myself I would keep rewriting each paragraph and probably not get further than the first chapter! But I make myself put bum to seat, fingers to keyboard and write straight through the first draft. I don’t stop to edit unless I get seriously stuck, in which case I will go back to find out why. It’s often because I’m writing from the wrong character viewpoint or using the wrong tense. Once I solve that I carry on writing the first draft. Then I edit like mad.
What was the best piece of writing advice you received when starting out?
Give your character a problem and solve it in an unexpected way. I started my writing career working for children’s magazines and often had to deliver to very tight deadlines – and this was the days before email (I’m a dinosaur!). Once when I had to come up with a couple of short stories and post them the same day my editor gave me that tip. I’ve never forgotten it, and it’s the basis I still work from.
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
I find it easier to write in the morning, as soon as I get up, the words seem to flow better then and there’s nothing like knowing that the daily writing has been done and the rest of the day is mine. But if I’m on a deadline I’ll write any time of the day, even well into the early hours.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
I’d probably be a teacher. I was about to start my teacher training when I was offered regular work writing for children’s magazines, so I chose that option instead. I was writing children’s books up until a few years ago and often visited schools to talk to the children about my work, and run creative writing workshops, I loved it and felt that I had the best of both worlds. I also taught creative writing at Falmouth University and for evening classes so I did get to be a teacher too, albeit for adults. 😊
If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? What draws you to this particular time?
I think it would have to be the time of the ancient Egyptians. I’m fascinated with the pyramids and would love to see how they were built, and why.
You have been chosen as a member of the crew on the first one-way flight to Mars – you are allowed to bring 5 books with you. What would they be?
OMG! I would never go on a one-way flight to Mars. I’d want a return ticket or you wouldn’t get me in that space ship! As to what books I’d take, well the first two would be a massive book of magic and a huge book of jokes in case we meet any Martians. Hopefully if I could frighten them with my tricks or entertain them with my jokes they wouldn’t harm us! Next on the list would be a handbook on survival so I could be prepared for any emergency, and a thick notebook and pen so I could write down my experiences. If I could get a collection of Sophie Kinsella’s books all bound into the one book I would definitely take that, I think I’d need some light relief.
Please tell us about your latest published work.
The Spanish Wedding Disaster
Some people are romantics. Some aren’t. When Sophie and Maddie are summoned to a mysterious, top-secret meeting by their best friend Kate’s partner, and told that he’s planning to whisk Kate away for a surprise wedding in Gibraltar, it’s immediately clear that bubbly florist Sophie is a total romantic. And that freewheeling, purple-haired Maddie is not.
Soon, Maddie finds herself reluctantly organising venues, planners and ceremonies; trying not to think of her own memories of Andalucía, and those she’s lost touch with there. Meanwhile Sophie’s hoping this dreamy gesture might spur on her own boyfriend to similar plans . . . and absolutely not thinking at all about Kate’s gorgeous brother-in-law-to-be.
But Kate’s got no idea what’s going on. And as the stress piles up and the group jet off to the sunny south, it seems it’s not just Kate who might get a surprise in Spain – one that could change everything . . .
Buy Link: http://smarturl.it/thespanishwedding